A simple, low-cost solution to reduce agricultural run-off
from entering the Great Barrier Reef is set to be trialled on North Queensland cane and banana farms.
, salinisation and eutrophication of wetlands are key challenges.
The Frontier report 2017 pointed out that the release into the environment of antimicrobial compounds in effluent from households, hospitals and pharmaceutical facilities, and in agricultural run-off
, was driving bacterial evolution and the emergence of more resistant strains.
Sewage works, septic tanks, abstraction, agricultural run-off
and degraded river habitats are among the factors blamed.
But like many rivers, while the Otter has excellent water quality at its headwaters, it becomes more degraded downstream as it collects agricultural run-off
, sediments and fertilisers.
With threats including tar sands expansion, pipelines, mining, fracking, bottled water plants, climate change and agricultural run-off
, the report concludes that without government action, more and more drinking water advisories will follow.
Hughes said while the plan identified targets for reducing harmful agricultural run-off
, any improvements would likely be lost in the unprecedented amount of dredging for coal ports and the Queensland state government's plans to double agricultural production by 2040.
Among other statistics, the report finds that 87 percent of irrigated corn production is grown in water-stressed regions, and that corn growers in the Mississippi River Basin lost nearly half a billion dollars' worth of fertilizer in 2013 due to agricultural run-off
into the Gulf of Mexico's "dead zone.
This will be around twice as stringent as the current minimum standard and means that some beaches will need to do more to make the grade in the future which could include reducing pollution from sewage discharges, agricultural run-off
and urban diffuse pollution, fixing mis-connected sewers and putting in place more steps to help dog owners clean up after their pets.
Long-term agricultural run-off
monitoring data (1994-2010) collected by Latvia University of Agriculture (LLU) in the monitoring station "Berze" including measurements in small agricultural catchment (3.
Dr Irena Tomankova, who led the study at Queen's University in Belfast, said: "Historically the lake was heavily affected by organic pollution as a result of nutrients from agricultural run-off
We've been working with water companies, councils and farmers to reduce discharges, agricultural run-off
and cross connections that can have a detrimental effect on water quality, and combined with the fact that this year has been much drier than 2012, have seen one of the best set of results in 20 years.